National Association of State Retirement Administrators


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that state and local governments added an estimated 193,000 jobs in June 2021. All of the increase was driven by education occupation categories, with local governments responsible for 124,000 of the increase, and state governments responsible for the remaining 69,000. Since peaking in February 2020, state and local governments have shed nearly 1.0 million jobs, or approximately 5.0 percent of their total.

The BLS identifies approximately 18.9 million employees of state and local government as of June 2021. Local governments, which include most school districts, account for nearly three-quarters of total state and local employment, with state governments accounting for around one-quarter of the total. Overall, state and local employment accounts for approximately 13 percent of the nation's workforce.

The private sector added an estimated 662,000 jobs in June 2021.

The charts below present the relative changes in state and local government and private sector employment since 2007.

Monthly changes in state and local government
and private sector employment, 2007-2021

Monthly changes in state and local government employment, 2007-2021

Compiled by NASRA based on data provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Data is sourced from the BLS Current Employment Statistics program, which is a monthly survey of households, businesses, and governments measuring employment, hours, and earnings estimates. The CES survey reference period is the pay period that includes the 12th day of the month. Data are published on a preliminary basis and revised twice before being finalized. 

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